Last updated on October 20, 2023
Have you ever wondered how you got notifications about your favorite shoe pair even before you collected money to buy it???
Who sends you these notifications on what you like…
What is a digital footprint?
In general, Each and every time you are online you create a trail of information which shows where you have been on the internet and the data you have left behind. This record of the online activity is known as the digital footprint. Your digital footprint starts getting gradually bigger with more online engagement. In other words, it depicts how you act in cyberspace.
How does the digital footprint grow?
Digital footprint is formed with the addition of data and there are two types of information/data that can be added to a digital footprint.
- Information you share by your own choice (Active digital footprint)
This happens when you yourself share information online. For example, when you create posts on social media, make reviews, sign up for e-books and newsletters, etc.
- Information collected without your consent (Passive digital footprint)
Your information could be used by apps collecting data without your knowledge, when a website tracks your online activity via cookies, when an organization access your information, etc.
What types of data are in your footprint?
- Shopping data (online purchasing, downloading and using shopping apps)
- Financial data (using a banking app, opening a credit card)
- Health and fitness data (using apps to track your workouts, subscribing to a health and fitness newsletter / blog)
- Reading and news data (reading news on an app, posting news articles you read)
- Social data (logging into websites with social media credentials, using social media on your device)
Why is your digital footprint important?
- It shows your online reputation.
- What you do online can be monitored by others.
- A digital footprint can be abused to tarnish your image (identity theft).
- It can be used to create a unique profile of you.
Let’s see how we can protect our digital footprint
- Limit the amount of data you share at your own will.
- Increase privacy settings on social media and web browsers.
- Access websites with HTTPS, which has an extra security layer.
- Delete old accounts to prevent malicious actors gathering your data.
- Uninstall apps that are not necessary.
- Provide apps only the essential permission they need to function.
- Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network).
Learn more about digital footprint